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Man says he was threatened into smuggling $1M in crystal meth
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A man claimed he was threatened in Mexico to smuggle more than $1 million in crystal meth into the United States, according to an arrest affidavit.


Luis Francisco Mercado, 46, a Mexican citizen, was arrested and charged with import, attempt to import and conspire to import the meth.


On Dec. 13, Mercado arrived at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge driving a 2006 Honda Accord. At primary inspection, Mercado gave a negative declaration and added he was on his way to Austin from Monterrey.


A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer observed Mercado demonstrating nervous behavior and trembling hands. Mercado was then referred to secondary inspection, where an X-ray revealed anomalies in the vehicle’s gas tank.


A K-9 unit also alerted to the odor of narcotics in the gas tank area. CBP officers removed the gas tank and discovered a hidden compartment in the tank containing approximately 55.73 pounds of crystal methamphetamine. The contraband had an estimated street value of $1,114,600.


Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations took over the case. Mercado allegedly agreed to provide them with a post-arrest statement.


“Mercado admitted he knew the vehicle contained an unknown amount of methamphetamine. Mercado claimed he was threatened in Mexico to smuggle the methamphetamine into the (United States) and transport it to an unknown location in central Texas,” states the affidavit.

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